Report: Ala. AG says settlement in BP suit still possible

Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 18, 2012, 12:54pm



MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) - Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said Tuesday there is still a possibility a settlement could be reached before the start of an upcoming trial over the 2010 BP oil spill.

The trial is set to begin Feb. 27 in New Orleans.

Strange told The Associated Press no settlement has been proposed yet.

However, the Alabama attorney general said he would agree to a settlement if it was the right one.

"I'm not opposed to a settlement. It depends on if it's fair or not," Strange told the AP.

On Wednesday, Strange announced that Louisiana Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell has been named co-coordinating counsel for the Gulf Coast states in the BP lawsuit.

Strange, who was named coordinating counsel in January 2011, said he was "thrilled" with the appointment.

"Both he and Gov. Bobby Jindal will prove to be powerful allies in the collective effort to hold those responsible for the spill accountable to the victims in every Gulf state," Strange said in a statement.

Also Tuesday, Caldwell told The Times-Picayune he is now OK with reserving 4 percent of state settlements as a possible source of fees for a plaintiff steering committee.

Earlier this month, the Louisiana attorney general had petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to overturn an order by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier reserving the 4 percent.

Caldwell would not provide an explanation for his decision.

An explosion and fire occurred on Transocean's drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, licensed to BP, on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and resulting in the largest offshore spill in U.S. history.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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